Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Iraq: A divided nation tears itself apart once again

Iraq went to the polls for the third time since the fall of Saddam Hussein but for many Iraqis the election has held little hope.

Syria’s very poor revolution

Hundreds of international fighters have flocked to Syria to join the war against Bashar al-Assad's government, most of them ill-equipped.

Insanity rules the new front in al-Qaeda’s war

Former comrades are pitted against one another --and against a besieged government.

How Somalia’s civil war became new front against al-Qaeda

On a side street off Mogadishu's Wadnaha Road frontline a young officer is explaining the unwritten rules of the city's intractable civil war.

Behind the glitz of Dubai

Dizzying construction boom relies on migrant labourers who are lured into a life of squalor and exploitation, writes Ghaith Abdul-Ahad.

Iraq’s Mehdi Army vows revenge on British troops

The Mehdi Army Shi'ite militia vowed on Friday night to conduct revenge attacks on British soldiers in southern Iraq after its Basra leader was killed by Iraqi special forces in an operation supported by British troops. Wissam Abu Qader was described by British officials as responsible for criminal activities and attacks against foreign troops.

Behind Baghdad’s front lines

Fadhel is a slim 26-year-old Mahdi Army commander with a thin goatee beard and smoothed-down hair that looks like a flat cap. One day last month he described how he and his men seized a group of three Sunnis suspected of killing his fellow Shia. ''I followed the group for weeks and then one of them crossed the bridge to Karrada [a Shia district]. We first informed a nearby Iraqi army checkpoint that we were arresting terrorists''

Behind the lines of a civil war

Husham is standing on a street corner in his Sunni Baghdad neighbourhood when his cellphone rings. ''Yes brother ... Two strangers ... Investigate and take measures,'' he mumbles. He carries a pistol in his right hand. Around him are a half-dozen fellow vigilantes carrying Kalashnikovs or wearing pistols tucked into their belts.

Inside Iraq’s sectarian war

Some men hold paper tissues under their noses; others wrap their kuffiya ends around their mouths. It is a hot and humid day at the city's main morgue where 20 men stand in a yard, their faces pressed with silent urgency against the bars of a window, next to a white plastic sign that baldly announces the location of ''The Refrigerator''.

Zarqa’s superhero

The road to Zarqa from Amman runs for 15km through beige hills peppered with limestone quarries, past factories, military camps, a scrapyard for big yellow cabs and a KFC joint. Trucks, taxis and military Land Rovers speed up and down, leaving trails of dust and black smoke. Like every other town in that part of Jordan, Zarqa is a place of filthy streets, traffic jams, donkey carts and grey breeze-block buildings.

‘We don’t need al-Qaeda’

''Abu Theeb is a tall, handsome, well-built man with a thin beard and thick eyebrows. His name is a nom de guerre: it means Father of the Wolf. He is a farmer during daylight and a commander of a mujahedin cell, a group of holy warriors, at night.'' Ghaith Abdul-Ahad goes behind the lines with Iraqi insurgents.

The deadly danger of working as a journalist in Iraq

I had been dreading this moment for weeks, but I knew it would come inevitably. The night before leaving for Baghdad; preparing for yet another trip to that doomed city to report on yet more violence. For weeks at a time, I had lived in denial. I had told myself, no, it's not happening; no, I am not going back there.

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